Two new players named in UT lawsuit; Jones called UTC WR Bowles - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Two new players named in UT lawsuit; Jones called UTC WR Bowles "traitor" then apologized

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Photo: Gomocs.com Photo: Gomocs.com

A number of amendments added to a federal lawsuit against the University of Tennessee that accuses the school of fostering a culture that protects male athletes include: new names, new plaintiffs and new accusations.

The lawsuit, initially filed Feb. 9, was amended Wednesday.

The complaint added two more women – each listed as “Jane Doe” – to the party plaintiff, bringing the total alleged victims to eight.

The lawsuit also now includes accusations against former wide receiver Von Pearson and current defensive tackle Alexis Johnson.

Nashville-based David Randolph Smith filed the lawsuit earlier this month, naming UT and the director of the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards as defendants. 

The amended complaint removes the director from it, leaving only the college as a defendant.

Another addition includes a claim that football coach Butch Jones said wide receiver Drae Bowles "betrayed the team" and was "ostracized from the team."

The lawsuit says one of the plaintiffs told Bowles she was raped by former football standout A.J. Johnson, and he urged her to tell  authorities. Bowles was later confronted by teammate Curt Maggitt who punched him in the face. When Bowles told Jones about the incident, the coach called him a traitor, according to the complaint.

Smith told WBIR 10News he planned to amend the complaint, submitted in U.S. District Court in Nashville, in response to the university's reaction to the lawsuit.

On Tuesday, more than a dozen UT varsity coaches gathered for a morning press conference to discuss their thoughts about the lawsuit, although they never addressed it by name.

Coaches said women at UT are safe and that there is no culture that protects male athletes, as Smith's federal lawsuit alleges.

Title IX addresses federal law that requires universities to uphold anti-discrimination policies. 

Smith has said that the lawsuit aims primarily to address problems he sees with how football and basketball players are treated when women make allegations of sexual assault.

UT has sought the lawsuit's dismissal or transfer to the Eastern District of Tennessee here in Knoxville.

The amended complaint says that "Jane Doe VII" was a student-athlete at UT when she was forcibly raped by Pearson in April 25 at University Walk, an off-campus apartment complex where Pearson lived with other players.

"Jane Doe VIII" was physically assaulted for refusing sex by Alexis Johnson on Feb. 14 at Volunteer Hall on the college campus, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit says Johnson "attempted repeatedly to touch and kiss Ms. Doe VIII and she repeatedly stated that she did not want to have sex with him."

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